I am learning 20 life lessons at once. It feels both overwhelming and relieving at the same time, like a huge glass of water after a long hike through the dry desert. I am happy and free, anticipating this next chapter of our life, while at the same time already missing the chapter that is closing.
I have learned recently what a true friend is. I have learned that I would rather have a small handful of people standing by my side than a massive web of connections and acquaintances. Frankly, I am tired of being used.
I have learned to treasure being alone. As life gets more demanding, I find myself saying no more often and choosing the quiet option. I want to stay home, stay in, go slow. While most people in my same career path would go full throttle at this point, I yearn to do the opposite. I find freedom in ignoring emails and DM's and texts from people who think they are entitled to my time and energy. I fantasize about going off the grid - flying away to a place where no one knows me - a restart button on life.
I have learned even more how little social media matters in the grand scheme of things. It is fun. It is a means of paying the bills. It inspires me to create art. It connects me to wonderful human beings. I am by no means an anti-social media warrior, nor do I want to seem ungrateful! I love the blessings it has given me. But it is not real life.
Real life is Facetiming my mom and hearing her laugh as she sings opera to the dogs. Real life is using those first moments of waking up to cuddle and listen to the birds instead of sticking our nose in our screens. Real life is late nights playing games with friends and hot days spent in the sun getting sand stuck in places it shouldn't. Real life is getting stuck in traffic and going to Costco and packing the cars with boards last minute because we heard our favorite spot is breaking. Real life is friends, and family, and moments, and alone time, and everything you love simply because you love it. It's all the times the lighting sucks or your battery died or there wasn't any wifi.
Real life is more than likes and popularity. I don't want to say I've stopped caring - because I still care so deeply about making art, brightening someone's day, building my business, and expressing myself as I share my thoughts with the world.
I have watched too many people take what is beautiful and turn it into something fake, something plastic. If real life is homemade pie then Instagram life is a store bought Twinkie. Making art has turned into getting the shot. Brightening someone's day with a thoughtful caption has turned into begging for likes. Building a business with original ideas and helpful products has turned into a rat race because apparently there's not enough room for us all to be successful. Expressing yourself has turned into a competition. Who has the best body, house, vacations?
I have failed miserably many times at keeping the right mindset. I'm not writing this as a saint, but a sinner. I would be a massive hypocrite to say I have never struggled with any of this. But recently it has sunk deep into my skin that something needs to change. My soul is aching for real life.
Instead of jokingly saying "Do it for the gram" I switched my mindset to "Do it for the art." That's what brought me here in the first place, anyways. I am here to create, to express, to share light.
And from here on out I want to do everything in my power to never lose sight of that.
Out of curiosity - what's your why? Who or what do you "do it for" ?